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Detail from Hayter's painting of Victoria and Albert's marriage, showing the pair holding hands at the alter with onlookers in the background

The arts were a great shared passion of Victoria and Albert

Prince Albert, Prince Consort, consort of Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom (1819-1861)

Two heads of eagles dated 28 Aug 1841

RCIN 816169

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Although a very competent amateur artist, Prince Albert directed the majority of his energies towards arts administration and as such only a small body of work by his hand survives. In 1840, however, the Prince and Queen Victoria sought to learn a new artistic skill – that of etching – with considerable results. They enlisted the artist George Hayter as their teacher, and over a period of around seven years produced just over 100 etchings between them.

The Queen primarily took their children and the family pets as her subjects, whereas Prince Albert looked to episodes from literature and the royal art collection for inspiration. Here he has reproduced a striking drawing of the head of an eagle seen from two sides. The original drawing on which this is based is also in the Royal Collection and follows.